CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — David Ragan passed Brad Keselowski with just over a lap remaining to win the qualifying event that earned him a spot in the $1 million Sprint All-Star Race.
Keselowski also moved into Saturday night’s main event by finishing second. Keselowski used a daring three-wide pass on an earlier restart to take the lead, which he held until the late pass.
Keselowski then said Ragan is the guy to beat in the All-Star race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. also moved into the race by winning the fan vote.
The Showdown is a 40-lap race held for all drivers not otherwise eligible for the All-Star race. This field had 27 cars entered, including Earnhardt.
Earnhardt Jr.’s 10-year exemption for winning the 2000 race has expired, and he needed to either earn a transfer spot or the fan vote.